Women have been warned to watch out for a new scam as a number of them have lost huge sums of money after falling prey to fraudsters.
The warning follows a number of cases currently being investigated by Mogoditshane police station. A syndicate of men is believed to be on the loose in Gaborone and surrounding areas.
The criminals target unsuspecting women who they con into disclosing their financial details, which results in their bank accounts emptied.
Acting station commander for Mogoditshane police station, assistant superintendent, Zachariah Tshenyego said the fraudsters later claim to be police officers to deceive their victims with the aim of robbing them.
“They target women who drive expensive cars, plant or put a large sums of money wrapped in a plastic next to their cars in order to start a conversation with them,” explained Tshenyego.
“One of them will pretend to be passing by and stop to alert the victim about the large sum of money by her car. He will then ask the victim where she was going and pretend to be going the same direction.”
Tshenyego added that by offering such a person a lift one would have fallen to the crook’s tricks.
He said that to win the victim’s trust the fraudster would offer to share the money with her before dropping off. Narrating the story, he said when stopping the car to drop him one would be hailed by a car with men claiming to be police officers on trail of stolen money.
“They would pretend to
“They would also instruct the victim to switch off her phone and hand it to them and thereafter withdraw all of the money in the victim’s account.”
Tshenyego said in all of the cases they were currently investigating the victims were approached after their shopping at Choppies stores at Tsolamosese and Metsimotlhabe.
He said the latest case was reported last Wednesday.
He disclosed that the total amount of money that the victims have lost to scammers so far is about P200,000. “Even if I do not have records with me here, one of the victims lost money amounting to P23, 000, the other one lost P20, 000, another one P15, 000 and P5,000 respectively to mention but a few,” Tshenyego revealed. He warned women to be cautious at all times to avoid falling prey to the fraudsters.
He also cautioned women not to offer lifts to strangers and to always involve a third party especially security officers at the malls or contact the police if they find themselves in such situations.
In addition he pleaded with women not to trust strangers with their money even if they claim to be police officers.